Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Botanist at Poppy's Gin Bar

Officially welcoming The Botanist to the Philippines!



The Botanist has been in circulation here in Manila for a while now, but only had its official launch at Poppy's Gin Bar, The Island, a few days ago. If you're wondering why it's named "The Botanist", well, the luxurious gin from Scotland uses 22 wild, local botanicals to achieve its exquisite taste. It's also the first and only dry gin from the rich Isle of Islay in Scotland.

These botanicals, endemic to the Scottish island, are apple mint, sweet chamomile, creeping thistle, downy birch, elder, gorse (whin), hawthorn, heather, juniper, lady’s bedstraw, lemon balm, meadowsweet, mugwort, red clover, spear mint, sweet cicely, bog myrtle (sweet gale), tansy, water mint, white clover, wild thyme, and wood sage.

Picked when it best suits the season and climate, these key ingredients delicately augment nine other berries, barks, seeds and peels during a slow, simmer distillation process. Nothing is ever rushed. Bottling uses natural spring water.

In other words, The Botanist is full of rich, bold flavour. Its foraged ingredients speak of a place and a culture, capturing all things beautiful from the remote Hebridean island, which The Botanist calls home.

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Tim and I had such a blast at The Botanist event held at Poppy's Gin Bar! I don't drink that often, but I absolutely loved how we were able to customize our drinks by picking which ingredients and flavors to combine with it. We got to experiment and Bartender Alyona Vinodagrova-Jeffrey made sure to accommodate everyone's G&T requests, garnished with a variety of local herbs - from citrus, herbs, floral, fruity, and spicy.


"The Botanist is more than just an exquisite bottle of gin. It’s part of a movement that encourages people to embrace once more a field-to-table relationship with food and drinks they consume, rekindling people’s relationship with their surroundingThis global foraging movement is steadily gaining ground with chefs, bartenders and foragers patronizing local flavors. It makes sense. After all, people once routinely searched the woods and seashores for seasonal sustenance and flavours to enhance food." 
"The Botanist’s depth and complexity lends itself to various flavour profiles. While the gin and tonic (served with ice and a slice of citrus fruit) will always be a staple, The Botanist encourages drinkers to explore a world full of foraged flavours. Anything local, fresh, and seasonal could potentially create something new such as Mint and Blood Orange, Bramble and Rosemary, Lemon and Thyme, Grapefruit and Basil. The possibilities are endless. The Botanist creates the spirit, but you create the drinks."
Some time during the night, host Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi announced a Make-Your-Own G&T competition which Pepe and Ray forced me to join with them. I honestly had no clue what I was doing, so I was surprised when I found out that my creation was included in the Top 3 (out of seven entries haha!) Not bad, right?? 
With its #BeTheBotanist campaign, the Scottish gin brand wants to inspire its patrons to unleash their inner forager, to re-discover their local environment, whoever and wherever people may be.
Good food, great drinks, and amazing company. It was definitely a night to remember - all thanks to The Botanist!!

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